So it IS a Banksy! Elusive graffiti artist lays claim to Valentine’s Day-inspired work showing a girl firing a slingshot of flowers on a building in Bristol after posting an image on his Instagram
- Residents in Barton Hill, Bristol, saw it on side of rented property yesterday
- Shows a young girl firing a slingshot of flowers, possibly linked to February 14th
- House rented out but owned by Edwin Simons who had 67th birthday same day
- Banksy, whose identity has never been revealed, does his work at night in secret
Banksy has confirmed a piece of Valentine’s Day graffiti that appeared on the side of a house in Bristol yesterday was painted by him.
The artwork appeared on a rental property owned by Edwin Simons, who was celebrating his 67th birthday yesterday.
In the spirit of February 14, it shows a little girl firing a catapult of red flowers, similar to the one in his famous ‘Balloon Girl’ work.
Residents in the Barton Hill area of the city woke up to find it sprayed onto the property in Marsh Lane, but couldn’t be sure it was the work of the graffiti artist, who keeps his identity secret.
But in the early hours of this morning Banksy confirmed it was his handy work by posting images of the street art on his Instagram page and website.
In the early hours of this morning Banksy confirmed the new street art on the side of a house in Bristol was his handy work by posting images of the street art on his Instagram page and website
Banksy created a new masterpiece in the spirit of Valentine’s Day after a picture of a little girl firing a catapult full of flowers appeared in Bristol
It shows a girl firing a catapult of red flowers, similar to the one featured in his famous ‘Balloon Girl’ piece and appeared in the Barton Hill area of the city yesterday
The mural appeared in Marsh Lane, Bristol, yesterday morning, on the side of a house
Mr Simons’s daughter, Kelly Woodruff, 37, found out about it after being tagged in a Facebook post.
‘We’ve been down here all day and it’s just been a complete buzz of excitement,’ she said.
‘There’s so many people coming and enjoying it, taking pictures, it’s fantastic.
‘There’s been a lot of debate if it is a Banksy or not. Most people I’ve spoken to think it 100 per cent is, and they’re naming it the Valentine’s Banksy. It’s incredible and beautiful.’
The family are looking to cover up the artwork with glass to preserve it.
‘My slight worry is, we’ve got this Storm Dennis coming on the weekend, so I really want to try and protect the roses,’ she added.
Mrs Woodruff said the artwork had come on the 67th birthday of her father, Edwin Simons, who owns the family rental business (pictured together)
Banksy’s last mural appeared in Birmingham in December showing a homeless man on a bench being pulled along by a herd of reindeer
Who is Banksy?
Banksy is an anonymous street artist based in Bristol.
He has never revealed his identity and carries out his work at night, in secret, which often adds to the excitement around his work.
In 2008 a Mail on Sunday investigation identified him as Robin Gunningham, a former public schoolboy from Bristol.
After Banksy revealed he has been heavily influenced by fellow Bristol creatives, trip hop band Massive Attack, there have been theories he is in fact their frontman Robert Del Naja.
His work is heavily satirical, has a distinctive stencil style, and deals with a range of social issues, most recently homelessness and Britain’s departure from the EU.
He started out as a graffiti artist with a collective in the city in the 1990s before going on to have his own exhibitions around the UK and abroad.
The artist rose to prominence in the early 2000s after a string of celebrities, including Christina Aguilera and Kate Moss bought pieces by him.
He also produced a wad of spoof £10 notes which had the Queen’s head replaced by that of Diana, Princess of Wales and the tagline ‘Banksy of England’ on them. They were distributed at Notting Hill Carnival, raising his profile further.
Banksy art nearly always appears in public spaces, on the sides of houses, bridges or walls.
He no longer sells photographs or reproductions of his work, but famously shredded his iconic ‘Balloon Girl’ work to pieces as soon as it was sold at auction for £1.04million two years ago.
After he posted a video of the shredding on his social media page, London auction house Sotheby’s confirmed it had been staged on purpose as a prank by the artist.
News of the Banksy first emerged on Twitter, with Bristol Somali Community Association writing: ‘Today in Barton Hill, we woke up with this remarkable mural art painted on one of the houses of the area.
‘We hope it’s Banksy’s work. Come and have a look yourself. Whoever painted, it’s worth admiring their creativity. Thank you.’
One local resident, James Bullock, saw scaffolding on the wall at about 6.20am on Thursday.
He walked past it later with his girlfriend and was stunned to see the artwork had appeared.
The Bristol-based graffitist is known to create his masterpieces under the cover of darkness – leaving the scene before anyone can spot him in action.
He often confirms the artworks by posting images of them on Instagram or his website but the latest piece has not yet appeared on either.
Banksy’s last mural appeared in Birmingham in December, with residents elated the street artist chose their city for his next piece.
Like yesterday’s Valentine’s work, it too had a festive theme, portraying a homeless man on a bench being pulled along by a herd of reindeer.
The reindeer mural, painted on a brick wall in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter appeared in mid-December and is designed to draw attention to homelessness.
A video posted on Banksy’s Instagram page said: ‘God bless Birmingham.’
In October 2018 he made headlines again after his famous ‘Balloon Girl’ original work was sold at auction in London for £1.04million.
But shortly after the hammer went down at Sotheby’s auction house an alarm sounded and the artwork was put through a shredder and destroyed.
He later uploaded a clip of the shredding online with the caption ‘Going, going, gone…’, with Sotheby’s later confirming the prank had been staged by the artist.
A resident is pictured taking a selfie with the artwork in the background